False Creek Women's dragon boat regatta: Gung Haggis races with Tacoma DBA


False Creek Women's dragon boat regatta: Gung Haggis races with Tacoma DBA

“Babes w/ Blades” drummed by Todd
Wong – Gung Haggis Fat Choy paddlers join TDBA paddlers.  Lead
strokes are Merri and Jean. Kristine and Anne in row 2, 7th row Leslie
and Laurie in their 1st ever race, 10th row Sonja and Peggy, John
steers for us. – photo Stephen Mirowski

Gung Haggis paddlers did a great job racing today.  We raced with Tacoma Dragon Boat Association's two teams:  Babes with Blades, and Chix with Stix. 

We had to adjust to
different paddling styles, race calls and strategies, seat placement,
new team mates etc etc.  And our ladies did wonderfully.

from Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver were evenly mixed
throughout 2 teams resulting in 3 sets of paddlers with different
paddling styles, levels of experience and racing intensity.  
GHFC paddlers use a traditional 6-16 start compared with TDBA's 4-20
start.  Our paddlers followed the TDBA lead strokes and style,
with greater success in each race.

thank you to TDBA team, TDBA Coach Clem, and TDBA event organizer Merri
for inviting us to join them.  I have known TDBA since 2001, and we
have often paddled together at events in Seattle WA, Kent WA, Penticton
BC + mens and womens races last year in Vancouver.

Oops! “Chix w/ Stix” with dreaded
caterpiller paddle.  And they still finished 1st in their first
two races, demonstrating strong power on the team with potential timing
– photo Stephen Mirowski.

Race 1 was “Omigod – what is happening!” 
Different calls, strategies – slight panic.  And both boats still won
their races – despite caterpillering all the way to the finish line.

Race 2 was “Okay…. this is different…” 
as we tried to adapt to the Tacoma style, minimize caterpiller, and
paddle as one.  We also raced against each other
– Chix with Stix in
Lane 3 (drummed by Deb )

– Babes with Blades in Lane 1 (drummed by Todd )

Congratulations to Chix winning the race and moving up to the next higher level of competition.

Race 3 was “Let's focus and win this darn race.”

Best races of the day for each team.

Good strong long strokes.

Babes with Blades went all the
way to the finish matching Abreast in Barnet – pulling ahead slightly
at midway, then decisively with a strong early finish.

Chix with Stix had a tougher
race sandwiched between two teams who were just ahead on either side. 
Very exciting!  finishing a very close 3rd.

Very close race #22.  Chix w/ Stix drummed by Deb Martin wins, Babes w/ Blades drummed by Todd  Wong comes 3rd.

Deb and I
are really pleased that the our Gung Haggis paddlers were
able to rise to the challenge for this women's regatta.  It is
always fun getting together with TDBA.  In 2004,  they
invited Gung Haggis down to Seattle for the first everdragon boat barrel races.

Some of the
Tacoma paddlers will be going to the World Club Crew Championships in
Toronto in August.  There were also brand new
paddlers from Tacoma and Seattle who had never raced before, including
Laurie Anderson and Leslie Wait from Gung Haggis.

Thank you to our guy paddlers for showing up to support us.  Stephen
Mirowski took great pictures and displayed them on his laptop
computer.  Dan Seto arrived with a birthday cake for Laurie.  Jonas,
Steven Wong, Jim Blatherwick all cheered us on.

Rita brought her multi-layered jello, Juliet made sandwiches, Leslie
brought the pasta salad.  Peggy, Gail, Kristine, Naoko brought their
racing experience.  Jennifer, Leslie, Ann-Marie, Sonja brought their
enthusiasm.  Deb and Todd provided great drumming for each team, as
well as shopping at Costco and lugging lots of food and drinks for all
the teams members.

52 teams competed in 39 heats, racing 3 times each.
Our teams finished in race# 34 & #35, the top races for the 2nd tier teams.  Top tier teams raced in races #36 to #39.

Gung Haggis paddlers all watched the final race of the day, heat #39
featuring the top 4 teams of the regatta.  Wasabi Team Huge, False
Creek Women
, North Shore Sirens and Roli Canada.  It was a very
exciting race with FC Women in the lead, with Wasabi Team Huge close
behind.  These are two of North America's premier women's teams – who
both went to the World Championships in Philadelphia in 2001, and
always compete hard against each other.

Crazy team photo with special “lips”
– Chix w/ Stix + Babes w/ Blades : paddlers from Tacoma, Seattle and
Vancouver – photo Stephen Mirowski

Sunday…. yes we have a practice – 1pm.

The men need to practice hard!  along with women who did not race on
Saturday.  Women who raced Saturday will focus on technique.  

Lots of race strategies….  as we ready our team for the June 4 ADBF regatta.

Good job Gung Haggis & TDBA !!!!

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